FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, the SDAAFE proudly announces that after nearly a week of deliberate and independent evaluations by seven judges from seven prominent Chinese community organizations, four exceptionally talented students, who obtained the top 4 overall scores from the judges, have been chosen as the winners of the 2015 San Diego API Student Mayoral Recognition Award. The award was established in early 2015 by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and ten San Diego Asian Pacific Islander American Organizations, to recognize local Asian American high school students for their hard work, academic achievements and community services.
Within 5 weeks of the event annoucement, a total of 13 students from 8 high schools applied for this award. Among them were 4 sophomores, 5 juniors, and 4 seniors, with 8 male and 5 female students. The 8 high schools that participated were Rancho Bernardo High School, Scripps Ranch High School, Canyon Crest Academy, The Bishop’s School, Westview High School, Torrey Pines High School, Del Norte High School, and La Costa Canyon High School.
The 4 award winning students are Brian Vuong, Emily Chen, Bowen Du and Jane Huang (left to right), here are their brief bios:
Brian Vuong is a senior from Scripps Ranch High School. He is a native San Diegan and first-generation Chinese American. Brian is very much involved in the local Asian community, especially as an editor at the Chinese-language magazine We Chinese in America and a tutor for recent Southeast Asian immigrants. He is also an active volunteer at the San Diego VA Medical Center. Brian is an accomplished pianist and has received awards at city, state, and international music competitions. He will be attending Brown University this fall.
Emily Chen is a senior from La Costa Canyon High School and has lived in San Diego for 14 years. She is very involved in her school’s Math Club, serving as president and competing in competitions like the American Math Competition and Math Prize for Girls, and plans to study applied math in college. She also runs hurdles on the track team and is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club on campus. Outside of school, Emily has done volunteer work at the UCSD Health System, Rady Children’s Hospital, and the EMC2 Team, a local math tutoring service she and her brother started. She has competed in numerous piano competitions and plays the clarinet in the San Diego Youth Symphony. She is also heavily invested in her church and considers it to be a vital part of her life. Emily will attend Harvard University in the fall.
Bowen Du is a senior from Rancho Bernardo High School. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany and moved to San Diego at two. It has been interesting for Bowen to grow up with three cultural backgrounds: Chinese, German, and American. He has thus been appreciative of diversity, and has fostered eclecticism in his own education and life. At school, Bowen is the President of Quiz Bowl and Academic League. He also spends time tutoring as a Peer Counselor, and is actively involved in community service through various school clubs and church programs. Apart from academics, Bowen can be found designing LEGO models and watching classic films. He will be attending the University of Southern California as a Trustee Scholar in fall.
Jane Huang is a junior at Del Norte High School. She is warm-hearted, active, and compassionate. She is an enthusiastic participant in her school and community activities. Jane has helped to develop the Science Olympiad program at the newly opened school in her district by encouraging and guiding the elementary school students there. She loves to work with and inspire the younger students, especially those who lack the necessary resources to develop good learning habits. Since Jane was a freshman, she has been volunteering at the local Helen Woodward Animal Center to help take care of the numerous stray dogs and cats available for adoption. At school, Jane is the president of the Academic League club and the secretary of Del Norte’s Science Olympiad team. Additionally, she has participated in many volunteer events and fundraisers at her school. In her free time, Jane loves music, photography, traveling, etc.
SDAAFE wants to thank all the applicants for their courage to step forward with their applications. This sets a good example for our next generation of youth and shows that Asian Americans are not to be stereotyped as a monolithic block of faceless individuals who only excel in school study and nothing else; but rather, are active contributors to the broader society in this beautiful city of San Diego and in this great nation that we call home.
SDAAFE wants to thank all the judges for their tireless effort and time in promoting the Chinese community and the love and social responsibility they show in caring for the interests and benefits of our next generation youth.
SDAAFE is committed in providing excellent services to our communities, promoting Asian American values, defending our community interests, and mobilizing the Asian American community, and we are always open to all constructive suggestions and ideas that will help us in reaching our goal.